East of Paris Bookstore

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Italy -- Encore

There must be something about throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain.  Legend has it that if you throw in a coin, you will be back.  Well, we are back in Italy and will be in Rome next week.

Long haul travel is both rewarding and extremely tiring.  We arrived in Milan's Malpensa Airport this morning.  Mostly, I was happy that the flying part was finished and that we arrived safely.  One wants so little these days!  Anyway, we are going to be traveling for three weeks and taking a cruise, so we brought a mountain of luggage.  However, after thanking God for the safe flight, minor annoyances become a distraction.

It seems that the days of porters and free luggage carts are over.  Our luggage arrived quickly and then came the callenge of getting out through customs and to our rental car.  Oh, there are many luggage carts, but they cost 1 Euro each.  But, the machines only take coins in 1 Euro or 1/2 Euro denominations.  They do not take credit cards and there are no currency exchanges until after customs.  The smallest coin we had was 2 Euros.  In the midst of our frustration, a nice lady gave us change for two Euros and we got two carts, piled up our luggage and made it out to car rental.  Thank you to the anonymous lady!  You made our life so much easier.

An hour later, entry struggles in the past, we pulled up to our hotel in Lombardia on Lake Como.  More about that after we address jet lag.

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